Arrival in Berlin

...And so we begin again.  We have arrived in Germany and are off to the races.  We got here on Friday and were met by a heat wave.  We are staying in the 6th floor of an apartment without air conditioning and it must be 100+ every second of the day.  Not exactly the cool, maritime climate we were hoping for, but Germany is sweltering in the summer of 2010.

We flew from Indianapolis to Chicago to Warsaw, Poland.  A special thanks to Jen and her 3 year old husband Randy for coming out with the kids to see us off.  The flight to Poland was just under 9 hours and all three of us slept for about 90% of the flight.  We're used to 24 hour flights with 16 hour stretches, so this seemed incredibly easy.  "A little too short," Jamie says.

We were met at the airport by Jael Tang who is the first Gateway Berlin intern--and probably the last since we are changing the name.  The important point is that Jael is an Anderson School of Theology student who is in the process of getting her Master's degree.  She is interested in missions so she joined a group from Anderson University and the SOT in Berlin to learn about urban, post-Christendom ministry.  She then stayed on for the full summer.

The Philips and the Varners (more on them later) have been in the USA, so Jael has held down the fort on her own.  Good job, Jael.  Well, Jael is a global person.  She's from Singapore and very self-sufficient.  We've known Jael for a while, so it's been like being reunited with our little Jeh-jeh (sister) here on the other side of the world.

You'll learn more about Jael later.

In fact, over the course of the next few weeks, I'll be introducing you to our team, telling you about our new role, and you'll be hearing all about our Three-Worlds strategy.  But for now, let's start slow---mainly because it's 130 degrees right now and I'm dying.  I thought we left all this hot weather behind??? I'm going to sue.  If I moved to Antartica they would probably have a heat wave.

This is not our first time to Berlin.  I've been here about 5 times and even stayed in this neighborhood twice before, so it's all quite familiar to us--even Marco.  We know the neighborhood where we want to live and know our way around to a decent extent.  Berlin has always felt like Portland and Seattle to us.  We love both places.  The culture is environmentally-conscious, bicycles have right-of-way, parks are everywhere, arts, books, and beer are high values, and the weather is usually gray and cool.

Today we started visiting potential future homes and we will need to go to the government offices soon, as well as get our phones set up and everything else.  The Philips will be back in 2 days and it will be fun to have them back.

Well, we start slow and hot, but it will pick up around here with lots of new info and cool stuff.  Thanks for making the switch from Chinatimes to Three Worlds.

And just like the old days, there will be complaining about how much I hate blue skies and the sun.  Some things never change.